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  1. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,431
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    Wow that is clogged. I was up on the roof a few weeks back and saw some fuzz around the extruded metal on it but nothing serious. Wow Dixie, you get on the roof!

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  2. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,649
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    I had that happen two years ago, I thought my wood was good but back then but I didnt top cover all my stacks, could have been moisture. I went up the other day just to check and I had a clean screen, I top cover my stacks for the winter now so maybe that helps.
  3. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    659
    Loc:
    Central NC
    Happened to me 3 winters ago. It is what finally prompted me to get rid of my old Black Bart smoke dragon. My daughter came up and got me out of bed about 6:00 and said that smoke was coming out of the fireplace. She had been up early and put more wood on ( a regular thing to feed the beast every 5-6 hours). It was a warmish rainy morning so not much draft anyway in my 'slammer' install. Quickly got out the ladder and went up and sure enough it look just like yours only worse. Decided then and there that there was way too much creosote building up (cleaning every year). Found this site and the rest is history. Happy woodburning old fool now.
    raybonz likes this.
  4. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

    Well, I suppose the moderator can now truly give factual advise...............................................not that his advise was bad in the past by any means!!!
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,908
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yep, over the years I've advised dozens of folks to check their caps so it was interesting to actually see and document this process in detail. Still, one doesn't need to get into an accident to advise keeping the car brakes in good condition, right? ;) There are times when common sense is the best advice.

    The stove is running again like brand new. It was super easy to start this morning off of coals from last night's fire. Raked the coals forward, loaded it up E/W with some 3-4" doug fir on the bottom and thick locust splits on top. Easy peasy start, the stove was burning strongly and air turned all the way down in 25 minutes. Now we're getting that beautiful, gentle ghostlike blue-flame secondaries off of the locust and the stove is cruising at 600F. Life is good again.
  6. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    938
    Loc:
    WA state
    I've had the cap get clogged up a few times but didn't show any noticeable draft issues at the time. The metal roof is too steep for me to get up on easily in the winter so I have a long reach paint pole. All I have to do is tap the top of the cap housing a few times and it clears 75% of accumulation out. The screen on my ICC cap is really fine. I really don't want to take it out though since I have a lot of nearby trees and don't want to risk a forest fire in the early fall timeframe.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,908
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Clearly this was an extreme case. It got dramatically worse over a couple weeks. I suspected it was the cap, but at my age you don't go up on the roof any more than you really need to, especially in winter.
  8. WidowMaker

    WidowMaker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Central Washington



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  9. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,350
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    This is my first year and my wood supply (purchased late) is less than ideal, too. So when I noticed today that my insert wasn't burning so well, and then I got a bit of roll out when I opened the door, and I saw this thread, I went outside with binoculars and sure enough I had the same sort of situation, though less severe. Thankfully it was a warm day and the roof was clean and dry, so my liner got its first cleaning today. Thanks for posting this.
    northwinds and raybonz like this.
  10. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,776
    Loc:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    I stopped cutting and burning Douglas Fir because I noticed my chimney creosote had that wet sticky look to it when ever I burned fir for prolong periods. After one particularly cold windy period I even noticed there was liquid creosote dripping off the chimney cap onto my metal roof. Now I've only been burning lodgepole pine and creosote deposits in the chimney are nice and dry, and no more dripping.
    The other thing don't miss with fir was the splits would often ooze pitch, especially in the house, and I would get sticky spots around the wood box and stove. Sometimes someone would step on one of those sticky blobs and track it through the house,,, what a mess. <>
  11. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,475
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    No kidding. I've never seen so much mold on a cap. ;)
    Once it starts to get bad, it might tend to snow-ball...
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I've burned fir for multiple seasons without seeing anything like this. But normally it has plenty of time to dry out in the wood shed. The problem and blessing of fir is that it has high oil content and readily burns even if not totally dry.
  13. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Messages:
    404
    Loc:
    Boulder, CO
    !!!
    I glance up at mine once and a while and can see daylight through it but I haven't done it in a little while, guess what I'm going to do this afternoon when I cool off for a cleaning!

    I've talked about how I roast coffee in other threads and a small coffee roaster uses the same chimney as a wood stove. Unless you have an afterburner on the thing you'll end up with chaff (a thin papery skin that comes off of the coffee when you roast it) catching a ride on the draft and coming straight out of your chimney. The first one I installed had a screen like the one in your picture, in no time at all I noticed the roaster wasn't acting right and that the room was getting very smoky, I went to check it out and it was totally clogged like that...

    I ended up using a velocity cone on the roaster chimney, I don't think it would work for a stove...
  14. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    I tried burning fur one time and cat didn't like it! It hissed like crazy for a while but FINALLY stopped and the smoke from the chimney stunk like tuna.. I am all done burning fur.. for now ;)

    Ray
    Lumber-Jack and jatoxico like this.
  15. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,541
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    Gonna bite my metaphorical tongue :).
  16. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,776
    Loc:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    The way you are burning your fur isn't good for your cat.
    Next time try removing the fur first, then when you burn it you won't get all that hissing, or that tuna smell. It will still smell bad though. ;)
    raybonz likes this.
  17. dentman4411

    dentman4411 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    great post Begreen thanks for sharing. i stfa for "chimney cap removal" search and found this. Are there any issues with just running the chimney without any cap whatsoever? my installer recommended I remove my cap -- pie plate style no screen like this one....

    to reduce the yellowy creosote milk shake thats forming on my storm collar. yea my wood is a little wet, moisture meter reads around 18-20% on a fresh split but the pea colored creosote on the storm collar says otherwise.

    [​IMG]
  18. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,813
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I wonder whether the ash would be cleaned out of the screen over the summer by wind and rain. I bet the buildup is from this year.


    Matt
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    46,908
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I would not run with no cap at all. Your cap is open, but at least it provides some protection from the rain. Having a puddle form in your nice stove is not desirable. The solution for your issue is to burn drier wood and perhaps burn a little hotter than now?
  20. dentman4411

    dentman4411 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    agreed. BrowningBAR has helped me quite a bit. Ive come to realize the VC defiant really doesnt like idling along at 350-400. Much prefers 600-700 as a normal operating temp. at those temps I get what I think are secondaries in the firebox before it even hits the cat .


    As far as wood im kind of stuck for this season but next year with what ive learned here on the forum ill be much better prepared with drier wood. My stash has been under a deck for 2 years and split small. In the meantime i just sweep my chimney every 2 weeks or so with sooteater. First time i got about half a cup full and did it a second time yesterday and didnt get anything i could collect so chimney is pretty clean.
  21. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,813
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Have you found a pallet source? They got me through my first season. They tend to be very dry so they would balance out your wood.


    Matt
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,146
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I actually went the other way, and added a screen last spring. Birds are a nuisance, but one big and lively squirrel stuck in the stove was enough to motivate me.
    raybonz likes this.
  23. glassmanjpf

    glassmanjpf Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I like the idea of putting the birds to work in the pipe rather than letting them freeload in there. Next spring I thing I will plug the horizontal portion of the tee section and remove the bottom plug and let them fly up and down all summer long.
    raybonz likes this.
  24. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Flintstone automatic chimney cleaner?

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